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Gender: Male
Hometown: South Texas. most of my life I lived in Austin and Dallas
Home country: United States
Current location: Bryan, Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 84,569

About Me

Middle-aged white guy who believes in justice and equality for all. Math and computer analyst with additional 21st century jack-of-all-trades skills. I'm a stud, not a dud!

Journal Archives

Protests in Dallas, Fort Worth seek justice for black Americans killed by police

The protests — and some of the turmoil — sweeping the nation reached North Texas on Friday evening.

Outside police headquarters near downtown Dallas nearly a thousand people came to demand justice for black Americans who have been killed by officers in recent weeks.

André Watson, a 30-year-old teacher, stood at the outskirts of the growing crowd, tears streaming down his face, at a loss about what more he can do to help bring change.

He said he was only 10 when a police officer first stopped and questioned him.

Read more: https://www.dallasnews.com/news/2020/05/29/protests-in-dallas-fort-worth-seek-justice-for-black-americans-killed-by-police/

Despite Trump's attacks, Kansas voters request 2020 mail ballots at historic rate

WASHINGTON -- Johnson County election workers spent Memorial Day weekend sending out roughly 380,000 applications for mail ballots — one to every registered voter in the state’s most populous county.

Kansas has allowed voters to cast ballots by mail for any reason since 1996. But the unprecedented move by county officials reflects COVID-19’s impact on the mechanics and politics of voting in 2020. Their hope is to prevent long lines in August and November, as voters elect a new U.S. senator and other office holders amid the ongoing the pandemic.

“Because of COVID-19, we’re very concerned about our voters and poll workers. So the secretary of state and county officials decided we wanted to encourage vote-by-mail, and in Kansas, we’re lucky to have that option,” said Johnson County Election Commissioner Connie Schmidt.

“And since we don’t know what the pandemic is going to look like in the fall, we decided to go ahead and mail out forms for both elections.”

Read more: https://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/election/article243052656.html

This Billionaire Governor's Been Sued Over Unpaid Bills. A Judge Just Ordered Him to Pay More.

The billionaire governor of West Virginia, whose business empire has amassed more than $128 million in judgments and settlements against it for unpaid bills, lost another court case this week that adds millions more to that tally.

On Wednesday, Gov. Jim Justice’s Bluestone Resources Inc. was ordered to pay nearly $2.8 million to a financing company after it stopped making payments on a lease for a bulldozer used in coal mining. In court, Bluestone argued it didn’t owe the full original amount. A judge ruled otherwise, ordering Bluestone to pay $2.7 million in damages and $76,000 in legal fees and costs.

The ruling, filed in a Dallas County, Texas, court, comes as Justice campaigns for a second term as governor of the Mountain State, touting his experience as a longtime businessman. But in advance of the state’s June 9 primary, opponents in both political parties are branding the Republican incumbent as a billionaire scofflaw.

This week, ProPublica published the most complete analysis of Justice’s legal record to date, finding hundreds of lawsuits filed against Justice’s sprawling business operations, including dozens brought by workers, vendors, business partners and government agencies, all alleging they weren’t paid.

Read more: https://www.propublica.org/article/this-billionaire-governors-been-sued-over-unpaid-bills-a-judge-just-ordered-him-to-pay-more

Law Enforcement Files Discredit Brian Kemp's Accusation That Democrats Tried to Hack the GA Election

It was a stunning accusation: Two days before the 2018 election for Georgia governor, Republican Brian Kemp used his power as secretary of state to open an investigation into what he called a “failed hacking attempt” of voter registration systems involving the Democratic Party.

But newly released case files from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation reveal that there was no such hacking attempt.

The evidence from the closed investigation indicates that Kemp’s office mistook planned security tests and a warning about potential election security holes for malicious hacking.

Kemp then wrongly accused his political opponents just before Election Day — a high-profile salvo that drew national media attention in one of the most closely watched races of 2018.

Read more: https://www.propublica.org/article/law-enforcement-files-discredit-brian-kemps-accusation-that-democrats-tried-to-hack-the-george-election

Red light: Mexican coronavirus restart hits speed bumps

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico faces a sluggish exit from coronavirus lockdown as government guidance on next week’s planned easing of restrictions showed on Friday that nearly the entire country was still stuck in the highest red phase of contagion alert.

From June 1, the government had planned to start reopening the country from anti-coronavirus measures. Instead, deaths and new infections from the pandemic have scaled new peaks this week, dampening expectations for major changes.

President Andres Manuel will begin tours of Mexico again after a nearly two-month hiatus, but a briefing he led on Friday showed only the north-central mining state of Zacatecas was not classified as a ‘maximum risk” area going into Monday.

In a map presentation, Zacatecas was marked orange in a sea of red on the four-step (red, orange, yellow, green) “traffic light” model the government is using to gradually repeal curbs on the economy and daily life it imposed in late March.

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-mexico/red-light-mexican-coronavirus-restart-hits-speed-bumps-idUSKBN2352Q0

Lyft violates Washington DC sick day law during pandemic, lawsuit claims

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Lyft Inc was sued on Friday by a former driver who accused the ride-sharing company of failing to provide required paid sick leave to drivers in Washington, D.C., a policy she said could fuel the spread of the coronavirus.

Cassandra Osvatics, of Bowie, Maryland, accused Lyft of subjecting current and former drivers to a “Hobbesian choice” between having to risk their livelihoods by staying home when sick, or “risk their lives (and the lives of their passengers)” by working through their illnesses.

Underlying the proposed class action is a belief that Lyft drivers qualify as employees, entitling them in the nation’s capital to about seven paid sick days annually based on 2,000 hours worked.

Lyft and larger rival Uber Technologies Inc have long contended their drivers are independent contractors, and therefore not owed benefits available to employees.

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-lyft-lawsuit/lyft-violates-washington-dc-sick-day-law-during-pandemic-lawsuit-claims-idUSKBN2352X2

Sale of shut Philly refinery to real estate developer delayed

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The closing of a $252 million sale of the Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) oil refinery to a Chicago-based real estate developer has been delayed, a city official and source with knowledge of the agreement said on Friday.

Hilco Redevelopment Partners won an auction in January to purchase the 1,300-acre site along the Schuylkill River in south Philadelphia. The companies were scheduled to close on the purchase agreement by the end of this month.

City of Philadelphia officials were told the closing was delayed, a city spokesman said by email. He did not offer additional details. Another source with knowledge of the deal said it was postponed this week.

Hilco and PES did not respond to requests for comment about the cause and duration of the delay.

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-pes-bankruptcy-sale/sale-of-shut-philly-refinery-to-real-estate-developer-delayed-idUSKBN235397

Quest for COVID-19 vaccines: Where they stand

May 29 (UPI) -- As the worldwide death toll from the novel coronavirus continues to rise, scientists across the globe are racing to find a vaccine.

It often takes years to secure funding, research and develop a vaccine candidate, test it on humans and get regulatory approval. And that's all before pharmaceutical companies can begin the task of actually manufacturing millions of doses for distribution.

A New York Times analysis indicates that under a normal timeline, a COVID-19 vaccine wouldn't be ready for distribution until May 2036.

But with more than 360,000 people dead worldwide, according to a Johns Hopkins University tracker, and the global economy struggling under mitigation efforts, world leaders are eager to speed up the process.

Read more: https://www.upi.com/Health_News/2020/05/29/Quest-for-COVID-19-vaccines-Where-they-stand/5111590522698/

American ruling class exploits the pandemic to escalate assault on jobs and wages

Another 2.1 million workers in the United States filed for unemployment benefits last week, according to the US Labor Department. This brings the total number of workers filing for jobless benefits to 40.8 million in the ten weeks since the pandemic led to the closure of much of the country’s economic activity in mid-March.

This number, which substantially understates the real scale of joblessness, is still a shocking 24.7 percent of the country’s labor force of 164.5 million people. Economists expect that May’s official unemployment rate, which will be released next Friday, will hit 20 percent, up from 14.7 percent in April.

Estimates of the real jobless rate exceed the historic record of 24.9 percent set in 1933 during the depths of the Great Depression. Millions of jobless workers are not counted in the official toll because they are undocumented immigrants, self-employed or so-called gig workers. Others not counted include those working part-time jobs and those who have given up looking for non-existent jobs. In addition, millions are not counted as unemployed because overwhelmed state agencies have not processed their claims, depriving them of any jobless benefits.

Nevertheless, several states have staggering official jobless levels, including Washington (31.2 percent), Nevada (26.7), Florida (25.0), Hawaii (23.4), Michigan (23.1), California (20.6) and New York (19.9).

Read more: https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/05/29/pers-m29.html

Why cellphone videos of black people's deaths should be considered sacred, like lynching photographs

As Ahmaud Arbery fell to the ground, the sound of the gunshot that took his life echoed loudly throughout his Georgia neighborhood.

I rewound the video of his killing. Each time I viewed it, I was drawn first to the young black jogger’s seemingly carefree stride, which was halted by two white men in a white pickup truck.

Then I peered at Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son Trevor, 34, who confronted Arbery in their suburban community.

I knew that the McMichaels told authorities that they suspected Arbery of robbing a nearby home in the neighborhood. They were performing a citizen’s arrest, they said.

Read more: https://theconversation.com/why-cellphone-videos-of-black-peoples-deaths-should-be-considered-sacred-like-lynching-photographs-139252
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